Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) says Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card registration is not a political issue nor should it spark a debate among subscribers but rather be considered as a statutory requirement for security purposes.

ZICTA Public Relations Manager Ngabo Nankonde said there were misconceptions such as the alleged political strategy for Patriotic Front government on the current on-going SIM card registration.

Mrs Nankonde was speaking in a follow up SIM registration press briefing with journalists from various media houses in Kabwe yesterday.

She said journalists were a tool of communication that can help clear peoples’ doubts across the country to ensure that the exercise is understood and done by every mobile subscriber.

She said ZICTA draws its mandate from the Information Communications Technologies (ICT) Act No. 15 of 2009 and the Statutory Instrument on the Registration of Electronic Communications Apparatus No. 65 of 2011 to ensure that all the mobile phone service providers register the SIM cards of all their subscribers.

She said SIM card registration in Zambia is now a law that will enable law enforcement agencies create a database to help identify the mobile SIM card owners.

Mrs Nankonde further said the registration was essential in tracking criminals who use cell phones for illegal activities and also to curb other negative incidences such as loss of phone through theft, nuisance text messages, fraud, threats and inciting violence, among others.

She added that the registration is also meant to help the service providers know their customers better.

She said failure to register a SIM card is a breach of the law and jeopardises government efforts of stamping out incidences of crime perpetuated through mobile phone handsets and by extension, putting oneself at risk.

She explained that the personal information collected such as National Registration Card (NRC), valid passport, valid driver’s License or Voter’s card would be kept confidential by the respective mobile phone operators in a secure data base.

ZICTA is carrying out sensitization awareness on the on-going countrywide SIM card registration exercise through the media.

ZANIS

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36 COMMENTS

  1. Fellow Zambian, lets not complain about SIM registrations. Look at it on a positive side. All developed countries have been practicing this. It can also help police and others to investigate cases as it is easy to trace phone calls like the last person u spoke, and so on and so forth. Don’t complain about things u don’t understand.

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    • @Beleg even pay-as-you-go they have to take your ID here in the UK, maybe it’s you who is lying. In the UK there is no Registration Card or ID card however in Zambia we do have it

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    • Sakala you are lying they do NOT take any details when you buy a PYGO sim, Never. 

      You only leave details for a contract phone.

      You dont have to lie to support PF, try honesty for a change!

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    • Whatever, Vodafone and o2 etc. they do take your name. And your name is on your debit card. Maybe those tuma Indian shops where you buy second-hand phones OK. Anyway we had the same previously under Mwanawasa when buying a phone from Celtel or MTN, you had to provide your name. But what does it have to do with PF? Next you will be saying PF made your wife cheat on you

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  2. You know what doesn’t cease to amaze me? The number of dull people in Zambia. If most of the people were half as educated, I guarantee you, there’ll be few if any people to complain or even think that, SIM registration is politically motivated.

    People, SIM regsitration id for YOUR OWN GOOD, for crying out loud!

    Why is everything got to have a political attachment?

    Tell me which developed country doesn’t have SIM registration and I promise you, I’ll send you a christmas gift.

    While I understand that, everything that seems “foreign” to Zambians is always looked at suspiciously, people need to embrace positive change. Please, GO AND REGISTER YOUR DAMN SIM CARDS, IT WON’T COST YOU A NGWEE.

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  3. i would rather give up my facking sim card card than being victimisedf by Pf (Pamafi).

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  4. Yankho lanu nlotani? Is it political or not? Why are you taking it political? Honestly, even on the internet, it is not wrong to give out your personal information but when it is a criminal like Ukwa asking then you should be afraid, Very afraid, to divulge your personal details. Azakupaya. It is Ukwa we are avoiding not ZICTA.

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  5. This registration has been suspicious from the beginning, I would urge people NOT to do it if they want to preserve their freedom. Do you really want to be tracked each time you make a call? Do you want to entrust your security in the hands of shady characters like Ukwa?

    There is nothing good you will achieve by registering.

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  6. Go ahead and do it. After all its done everywhere even here in the Western World. You can never have a sim without providing all your details by way of showing your ID, ie, Passport, Driver’s Licence and/or any necessary document to support yourself. So why are these people scared when they always do the same whenever they visit other countries? Its only in Zambia where the Opposition always sees bad out of good.

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  7. Even in South Africa, you can not just buy a SIM card on the streets and expect it to work like we do in Zambia. You have to show your ID even if you’re just visiting for few days. Your SIM card that you purchase in SA will NOT work if you DO NOT register it, period.

    Anyway, you Zambian knuckleheads will not be able to use your phones after a certain time if you don’t regsiter your SIM cards, it will be as simple as that. It will be a REQUIREMENT…Airtel, MTN, Zamtel…whatever. So really, the loss is yours.

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  8. #11 YOU HAVE ALMOST SAID IT ALL. BUT I WILL ADD ON YOUR COMMENT. ZAMBIANS IN ZAMBIA, TAKE REGISTRATION OF YOUR SIM CARDS IN A SIMILAR WAY YOU REGISTER WHEN YOU FIRST VISIT A HOSPITAL OR CLINIC. SUPPOSE THAT THERE WAS NO LONGER THAT REQUIRED YOU TO REGISTER WITH A CLINIC OR ANY MEDICAL CENTRE. WOULD YOU FEEL SAFE TO BE TREATED THERE? YOU JUST DROP-IN AND THE MEDICAL STAFF(DOCTORS, NURSES, ECT) OPERATES ON YOU AND PRESCRIBE DRUGS TO TAKE HOME. HOW DOES THAT SOUND TO YOU- SAFE? IF IT SOUNDS SAFE THEN DON’T REGISTER YOUR SIM CARD. BUT, IF YOU THINK FURTHER TO SAY BUT WHAT IF THE PRESCRIBED MEDICINE/DRUG YOU ARE GIVEN FOR YOUR MALARIA WAS IN FACT FOR THE MENTAL ILLNESS AND YOU HAVE ALREADY TAKEN THAT DRUG AND THING START GOING TERRIBLY WRONG? SO, WHO DO YOU SUE FOR NEGLIGENCE? FURTHER STILL…

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  9. Number 11 and 12 you are right, SA and other European countries are very strict on this SIM registration. You either show your ID or you do not get it period. Its only in Zambia where you can buy a SIM on the street without ID and be able to use a phone for dubious means and throw it after that without being traced

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    • I dont know which european countries you are refering to as being very strict. If you want to get a sim card where you pay at the end of the month (post paid) you have to register because they need to know where to find you and send the bills to you. But when you have a pre paid you just walk in and buy and you do not need to show any ID. The idea is good but we also have to get serious assusrance and measures in place from the mobile companies so that private information is not abused.

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  10. from #12…WHAT IF THROUGH THE SIMILAR NEGLIGENCE A MEDICAL STAFF EXPOSES YOU TO HIGH RADIATION AND YOUR SKIN STARTS PEELING OFF WITH INTENSE PAIN, WHO DO YOU BLAME, AGAIN? YOU THERE’S NO RECORD ON THEIR SYSTEM SO THEY CAN SIMPLY SAY, SIR OR MADAM SORRY IT ISN’T THIS HOSPITAL THAT TREATED YOU. ANOTHER EXAMPLE WOULD BE HAVING A BANK THAT DID NOT KEEP CUSTOMER DETAILS AND TRANSACTIONS. WOULD YOU REALLY USE ANY OF THAT BANK’S SERVICE? YOU WANT (IN FACT IT’S A NEED) YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS TO BE KEPT BY ANY SYSTEM AS WELL AS TRANSACTIONS WITH THAT SYSTEM FOR ANY FUTURE REFERENCES. OTHERWISE THE BANK WILL WAIT FOR YOU TO DEPOSIT US$1m AND DENY YOU EVER DEPOSITED THAT MONEY IN THEIR BANK.

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  11. from #14. POSITIVE THING (in fact registration of your sim card is totally good) ABOUT HAVING YOUR SIM CARD REGISTERED ARE AS FOLLOWS:
    1. ONCE YOUR PHONE IS STOLEN IT CAN BE DISABLED UPON REPORTING THE INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE PROVIDER.
    2. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCE THAT IT WASN’T DISABLED IT CAN BE TRACED BY OBSERVING THE MASK (OR BOOSTERS OR AMPLIFICATION DEVICES) YOUR PHONE SIGNAL PASSED THROUGH AND THERE4 MORE POSSIBILITIES OF CATCHING THE THIEF OR ANY OFFENDER.
    3. REGISTRATION OF SIM CARDS STATISTICS IS USED FOR DEVELOPMENTAL PLANNING BY THE GOVT AS WELL AS POTENTIAL AND EXISTING INVESTOR IN THE MOBILE PHONE INDUSTRY AND RELATED INDUSTRIES.
    4. STATISTICAL DATA CAN BE USED FOR ANY MARKET AND ACADEMIC RESEARCH OPERATIONS.
    5. ANY SUSPECTED SERIOUS CRIME CAN BE AVOIDED BY LISTENING TO…

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    • Good try, except you do NOT need to register in order to be able to disable a number. You can get you number disabled in Zambia right now without having it registered, how does that sound?

      You dont need peoples names if your research is bound by any sensible ethics, so even that argument flops badly.

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  12. from #16…THE CONVERSATION OF POTENTIAL PERPETRATORS.
    6. THIS ONE IS NOT VERY EASY TO UNDERSTAND, BUT ON-LINE REPAIRS CAN EASILY BE CONDUCTED ON PHONE AND RELATED GADGETS WITHOUT HAVING TO GO PHYSICALLY TO THE WORKSHOP.
    7. REGISTRATION OF MOBILE GADGETS IS IN ITSELF AN INFRA-STRUCTURE ON WHICH YOU BUILD THE SUPER-STRUCTURES. I will not go into this because it will be too complicated to some of us. So, just take it that the govt is creating an infra-structure to enable other future developmental plans (I do a bachelor of engineering in software engineering in case you are concerned with my authority. I also have a number of qualifications in similar profession).
    8. FOR US WHO KNOW DATA MINING REGISTRATION OF MOBILE GADGETS IS AN EXCELLENT INFRA STRUCTURE FOR DATA MINING IN THE RELATED

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  13. from #18. I HOPE THAT I HAVEN’T SENT THE READERSHIP TO BED BY THIS BORING STUFF. HOWEVER, I TRIED SO MUCH TO DILUTE MY LANGUAGE FOR US ALL TO AT LEAST SEE SENSE IN THIS MOBILE GADGETS REGISTRATION. I CAN ASSURE YOU IT’S NOT POLITICAL BUT EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING GOOD FOR YOU AS GADGET OWNERS. PROBABLY THE WASTE PART OF IT IS THAT SOME ILL-BENT OPPOSITION POLITICAL PARTIES AS WELL AS SOME MEDIA ARE USING IT TO CONFUSE THE POPULACE AND HENCE, FRUSTRATE ANY EFFORTS TO DEVELOP THE COUNTRY. I JUST BOUGHT A BLACKBERRY PHONE SOME FEW DAYS AGO AND MY SIM CARD WAS INSTANTLY REGISTERED AT THE POINT OF SALE OF MY CELL BY ORANGE.

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  14. ALL DEVELOPED, DEVELOPING AND SOME UNDEVELOPED (like Zambia) COUNTRIES HAVE A LEGISLATION/LAW REQUIRING ALL MOBILE GADGETS/PHONES REGISTERED. IN FACT THERE’S NO WAY YOU CAN USE A CELL PHONE WITHOUT HAVING REGISTERED YOUR SIM CARD- IT’S SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE.

    ZICTA CAN EVEN GO FURTHER BY CREATING SOFTWARE SYSTEMS THAT INTEGRATES RELATED SYSTEMS NAMELY MOBILE GADGETS OUTLETS (SHOPS IN OTHER WORDS), THE POLICE (OR MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS), ZICTA ITSELF, MAYBE ALSO CENTRAL STATISTICS, ETC, SO THAT THEY ARE ALL INTERFACED SUCH THAT WHEN THE SIM CARD IS ACQUIRED AT ANY AUTHORISED OUTLET AND REGISTRATION ACCOMPLISHED THE REGISTRATION STATUS OF THAT SIM CARD GETS PASSED ON TO POLICE, ZICTA, C.STATISTICS (AND MANUFACTURER IF WE DID HAVE PHONE MANUFACTURERS IN THE COUNTRY). ZICTA CAN EVEN MAKE…

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  15. This is one pointless exercise,if anything its going to help these Network companies’ marketing strategy on the cheap. As for the gov’t who can trust them…how many times have they ignored the law and the constitution?
    Wake up!!

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  16. Service providers have access to our information so if govt wants info about us they can just get straight from them. SIM registration is for our own security. if you have nothing to hide why worry. if your calls or sms are harmless why worry. Besides there are over 3 million cellphone users do you think the govt can have the resources to monitor all the users

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  17. Problem with this exercise is the service providers. You go there, with your ID only to be told their photocopying machine is not working. Then you have to go and pay for them to be upside, return and find a longer queue! 

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